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Affordable housing is big business

Sandra Clark

Last week Knoxville’s Habitat for Humanity announced its 500th house built here since the group’s founding in 1976.

Also last week, the city renamed a road (Town View Drive to Lula Powell Drive) as LHP Capital LLC affirmed a previously announced $21.6 million renovation of Townview Towers and the adjacent Arbor Place. Combined, these offer 500 apartments.

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‘Where does it hurt?’

East Knoxville church operates free medical clinic

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

It’s not like the free medical clinic at Magnolia Avenue Methodist Church is operating in secret – every Monday at noon dozens of patients line up to sign up to see the doctor and have a hot lunch courtesy of the church – but Russ Johnston, who chairs its board and was the driving force behind the clinic’s creation, is working hard to spread the word that there’s free medical care available in East Knoxville and that no one will be turned away.

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It’s Saunders vs. Bonovich for Seat C

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

The recent city elections produced no surprises other than the three opponents to Finbarr Saunders ran almost evenly among them while Saunders took the lion’s share of the vote.

Paul Bonovich, who faces Saunders in the runoff, edged his closest rival, David Williams, by 45 votes for Seat C. Expect Bonovich to wage an active campaign as will Saunders.

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Service adequate, funding flawed says fire chief

Wendy Smith
Government/Politics columnist

Knox County has a relatively high level of service at a low cost per capita as compared to the rest of the state in regard to fire protection, says Rural/Metro Fire Chief Jerry Harnish. But the current funding system is flawed because single-family homeowners foot more of the bill than businesses do.

Harnish is generally pleased with the number of fire stations in the county, now that a new station in Southwest Knox County is up and running. The need for a station in the Choto area has been a topic of conversation since Mike Ragsdale was mayor and finally came to fruition when former Knox County Commissioners Ed Shouse and Richard Briggs took the issue to Mayor Tim Burchett. Other key factors included the offer of a site from developer John Huber and the commission’s approval of payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for the property.

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Bonovich comes out punching

Wendy Smith
Government/Politics columnist

Few city residents braved the rainy weather last week to vote in the primary for three contested City Council seats. But they’ll get a second chance to choose from exactly the same candidates, minus two at-large Seat C contenders, during the Nov. 3 general election.

The Seat C field has been reduced to incumbent Finbarr Saunders and challenger Paul Bonovich, a small business owner. Saunders raked in 64 percent of votes, while Bonovich received 13 percent − just 45 votes more than third-place finisher David Williams, who had 12 percent. Kelly Absher finished fourth with 11 percent.

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A season for seeds

Dr. Bob Collier
Nature notes

Most of what you had for breakfast today was made from seeds. I would just about bet on it.

Even if you had ham and eggs, or just some yogurt, you ate food that depended upon seeds to produce it – feed for hogs, chickens or cows. We humans eat grain products year in and year out. But right now is High Season for seeds, and a very important time of the year, especially if you happen to be a bird.

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